It’s an all-new way to shop — and in a world of disruptive startups and innovative business models, it’s picking up significant steam. They’re subscription-based shopping services, and they are novel ways to update your wardrobe, take advantage of the latest trends, and get products that actually fit without ever having to step foot in a shopping mall.
You may have heard or seen ads for companies like Bombfell, Trunk Club, or even Dollar Shave Club. These are businesses that are doing our shopping for us, and making it easier to address our needs without giving them so much as a second thought. For example, Dollar Shave Club is a service to which you pay a monthly fee — between $1 and $6 per month — and in exchange you are sent packs of razor blades monthly or bi-monthly.
The advantages? The razors are much cheaper through this service, and you don’t need to remember to go buy them. They show up at your door.
Trunk Club, and many others like it, work in similar ways. You are sent a box of clothes and accessories, all with your specified size and style. You can keep what you like, which you will be charged for, and send everything else back. Free of charge. Hell, you can send it all back if you want. The point is, you’ll constantly be receiving fresh clothes that you can check out — clothes that fit, and that you’ve determined you like — and get to do a little home shopping.
But time and money are just the tip of the iceberg; there are several other reasons why you should at least do some dabbling with subscription shopping. Many of these companies have free trials, and if you don’t like their products or services, you can always cancel in short order.
Here are four good reasons to check out a subscription shopping service.
1. No-effort way to up your style
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of this new business model is that it requires next to no effort on your part. Aside from actually signing up, and speaking with a company representative to discuss your preferences, all you have to do is sit back and wait for your monthly shipment to arrive. This, opposed to going to the mall or other retail stores to try and track down the correct size, color, and style you want.
Of course, you’re still afforded this option even if you are a member of these services, so there’s really little to lose. If shipping is free, and you only pay for what you want to keep, then why not at the very least see if these services click with your lifestyle? Or your affinity for avoiding public places?
2. No fruitless trips to the mall
Speaking of dodging public places, we’re going to mark ‘not going to the mall’ as one of the major reasons you should try these services out. You may like shopping at the mall — there’s nothing wrong with that — but there are still problems that you could run into. You may not have certain stores or brands available in your area, for example, or the stores may not have what you’re looking for. Sizing is a whole other issue — have you ever come across a rack of jeans that you love, but they don’t have your size? That’s an issue you can avoid with subscription services.
Of course, going shopping can be fun. You can see different styles, colors, and get to try things on. But if you’re someone who’s not into spending hours wading through teenagers and trying not to buy a slice of pizza from Sbarro, subscription services may be for you.
3. Things will fit
Finding clothes that fit: it’s one of, if not the most difficult part of shopping. Men come in all shapes and sizes, and oftentimes, traditional sizing options won’t do it for a lot of us. With subscription services, these companies know your proportions and will find the clothes you like, in the correct size. No more wasted time rifling through racks, only to have your heart broken when they don’t have a shirt that fits.
If you like the thrill of the chase, then by all means, head to the retail outlets. But if you’d rather have the sizing issue taken care of before-hand, check out a new service.
4. You get professional advice
How would you like the touch of a personal stylist? A good deal of our significant others would probably love it, even if a good deal of men could care less. But that’s exactly what you get with certain services. Getting on the phone with someone who can help you figure out the best clothes for your body type, which colors will help compliment your features, and what you should wear and when can be an invaluable resource — particularly for men who have been basically wearing the same band t-shirts since high school.
Stylists can find you clothes that are great for work and play, and in the styles you prefer. If you change your mind about argyle, well, your stylist can steer you toward alternatives, and fill your order with items that you’ll like better. If you’re not much of a clothing connoisseur, the added advantage that a personal stylist provides can prove to be invaluable.
After all, they say the clothes make the man.
Follow Sam on Twitter @SliceOfGinger